COMP | If, When, & With Whom

5/5 golden merles

Undeniably Spared Flesh are at the pinnacle of the pump, deep in the heart of it, perched near one of the prime spigots for what remains of the corroded valve of rock. Look at this fucking line up of the beloved: Gee Tee, Zero Percent APR, EXWHITE, Billiam, MESH, Nick Normal, Cupid and The Stupids.

Mercifully, these petty thugs are united temporarily in a common cause of good: all proceeds from this release benefit the National Network of Abortion Funds.

True to their individual representations of self, the collected works are not lacking passion and composure. Far from throwaway tunes, each groups reached deep in the pocket and pulled generously from their wares, a welcome sign of solidarity in these dire times.

The compilation is a great introduction to so many inspired acts and creators in the midst of many you must already appreciate if you’ve read to paragraph four of this idiot blog. I live and breath this muck and I didn’t know about the immensely promising My Friend Cowboy or Bruise Linear. But now I do and I can store them where they belong: an endless series of tabs like tombstones in Mozilla.

Why scour through the debris later? These folks are working and making now, you can support them and their causes in real time. You’ve not got to wait for a Tiny Twerps volume to release 20-50 years after the fact, or make a costly pilgrimage to plant your dead gerbil in front of the charred remains of the Elephant 6 house. Cassettes remain at $15 on the edition of 100/$10 for .flac files.

TRACK | Cupid and the Stupids – Burn the Mattress

5/5 golden merles

Having featured these gentle giants on a previous mix and once earlier on this eternal tomb, I was excited to see the new album, 99 ways to fix a broken heart, appear in the Tremendo Garaje feed.

It’s a joyous and raucous set, tactile in that lo-fi measure that puts you in the room. 99 ways is 36 minutes of the fervent and the gushing. Recorded over three days, it really feels like it, or maybe even more like one afternoon of unsupervised pyrotechnics.

Mostly incandescent, its poignant haranguing is a lot of fun. Antithetical to most music that is built to bracket advertisements, it is built with a different purpose. And this almost seems like a mistake or misdirection within the current structures that determine what has value and why.

But, knowing the dominant alternative, it is a great relief to have access to this sentiment and viscera… particularly on this day of all days. I am of course referring to the fact that it is exactly 74 days until Arbor Day. Good luck out there, my friends.

TRACK | cupid and the stupids – Love and Liquor

5/5 golden merles

The controlled chaos on display in Love and Liquor is a great gift. Both the lead and backing vocals are tremendously good. I am desperately indebted to the crescendo of “Breaking my Heart,” the primary melody and it’s various subsystems; it’s carried me through a couple days at least.

A recurring theme here in my myriad appreciations are the pulling together of lo-fi pieces into a coherent and anthemic whole, unabashedly taking the stripped down, dollar-bin components of quasi-functional home recording devices and software and elevating them to an effect most major studios can’t accomplish.

That’s a fundamental part of the glory of the ineffable.

It is more likely found in the efforts of those determined to uncover it through the dedicated pursuit of creative problem solving, passionately preoccupied with honoring truth and the capture of a feeling.

And every time it succeeds another gear-head reinvests in a piece of technology that is the solution to almost certainly nothing, certain that this time it will be different. Alas… that is not what is lacking.

If you’re turned off by the production, I’d beg you to listen to it 3-4 times and push through it. The greatness is there. It’s not even particularly obscured.